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Stabilised economy does not mean growth

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 23, GNA - Ghana's present economic stability did not tally with the kind of growth rate required to sustain the economy, Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) said on Thursday.

He said the attainment of a stabilised economy therefore, was not enough to propel the needed economic growth.

Growth comes from increases in productivity, which also stems from ensuring the growth of business enterprises.

At a meeting with the media to discuss a study on "the Potential Impact of the 2004 Budget on the Development of Science and Technology for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises" (SMEs), Dr Boeh-Ocansey called for the necessary support, legal framework and structures to be put in place to ensure that such enterprises survived to help boom the economy. The study commissioned by PEF and jointly sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was to determine the extent to which the 2004 budgetary policy was likely to support the development of Science and Technology for the benefit of SMEs.

According to Dr Boeh-Ocansey, the study revealed that the national policy framework for the development of technology was generally not progressive and that was the consequences of the lack of adequate resources for the development, transfer and application of technologies within the Science and Technology sector and with industry. That, the study added was coupled with the low science culture among the public, which has also helped to cause damage to the growth of the economy.

The study admitted that policies outlined in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) 2003-2005 appeared to be specific, but it only placed little emphasis on the development of Science and Technology.

"It therefore, beholds on the government to finance, facilitate and promote the acquisition, development, transfer and application of science and technology", the study advocated.

The Study called for budgetary provisions to help PEF establish a division charged with the responsibility of playing an active advocacy role for SME's at the highest policy making levels.

It also called for the establishment of an industrial design and fabrication centre for Agriculture and Food Processing equipment to spearhead the modernisation of agricultural technology, the reviewing of the National Board of Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) law and other legislature and an agency charged to facilitate public procurement for technological development.

Meanwhile, PEF had, in collaboration with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), undertaken a project to foster stakeholders participation in the legislative process.

The project, covering the period April 2003 to September 2004, enabled PEF to select and discuss five bills of interest to the private sector for review.

These bills, he said were the Public Procurement, the Right to Information, the Industrial Designs, the Insolvency, the Competition and Fair Trade Practices and the Review of the Mortgages Decree. The Director General said through such advocacy work, there has been an increased private sector and other stakeholders participation in the legislative process which has also resulted in the establishment of bi-monthly newsletter, bi-annual magazines to educate and inform Enterprises about best business practices and laws.

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